UP Open University

Master of Distance Education

The Master of Distance Education program of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) is designed for individuals who would like to develop knowledge and skills in designing, implementing, and managing formal and non-formal distance education and e-learning programs.

Participants undertake 30 units of course work, take a comprehensive examination, and complete a Special Problem.

This is a fully online program offered on a trimestral basis (i.e. three 12-week terms per year). The mode of study consists of:

guided independent study of specially prepared course packages consisting of modules, readings, and Web-based resources; and
computer-mediated communication and collaboration at UPOU’s MyPortal and using relevant Web 2.0 and m-learning applications.

MDE students who have completed 18 units of course work with a general weighted average of 2.0 or better and who are unable to complete the program may apply to be granted the Graduate Certificate in Distance Education.


Program goals

Graduates of the program are expected to be able to:

  • Use their knowledge of theories, models, and principles of open learning and distance education (DE) to critically examine various aspects of DE programs from a variety of perspectives;
  • Lead in designing, developing, and delivering distance education programs that are underpinned by effective pedagogy and appropriate and sustainable use of technology;
  • Lead in managing DE programs in different contexts—educational, business and non-profit organizations—to meet the needs of target learners;
  • Understand and critique broader policy, regulatory, and social issues related to DE; and
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge regarding open learning and distance education by conducting research and evaluation studies, and through materials, course, and program development.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized post-secondary institution, with a general weighted average of 2.5 or better.

MDE courses may also be taken on a non-degree basis. Non-degree students are required to have completed a Bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment in any of the courses in the MDE program. Should they subsequently decide to enroll in the MDE, a maximum of nine (9) units of courses taken with final grades of 2.0 or better, may be credited to the MDE program.



The MDE curriculum consists of 18 units of core courses, 12 units of elective courses, a comprehensive exam, and a 4-unit Special Problem.

CORE COURSES (18 units; each course is equivalent to 3 units)

EDDE 201    Foundations of Distance Education     
EDDE 202      Learning Theories and Instructional Design in Distance Education   
EDDE 203    Technology in Distance Education   
EDDE 204    Assessment of Student Learning in Distance Education   
EDDE 205  Management of Distance Education   
EDDE 206    Research in Distance Education

ELECTIVES (12 units; a student must take at least one course from each cluster)

Pedagogy Cluster   
EDDE 210    Online Teaching and Learning   
EDDE 211     Lifelong Learning

Technology Applications Cluster   
EDDE 221      Design and Evaluation of Multimedia Educational Materials   
EDDE 222    m-Learning   
DEVC 207     Design and Production of Audiovisual Communication Materials

Educational Management Cluster   
EDDE 230    Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in the Information Age   
EDDE 231      Planning and Managing Networked Learning

Note: Students may take a maximum of two courses (6 units) and a minimum of one course (3 units) per term. There are three terms in one academic year, as follows: September-November (Term 1),  January-March (Term 2), and May-July (Term 3).



The comprehensive examination is taken after completing all core courses (18 units) and elective courses (12 units) with no grade lower than 2.0 in more than three courses.



The capstone course is EDDE 298 (Special Problem in Distance Education). In this four-unit course, students are expected to develop and document a project that enables them to apply a variety of skills and knowledge in distance education. The project, which should be completed within 12-16 weeks, may take any of the following forms:
1    Research (e.g. action research, case study, survey research)
2    Program development
3    Materials development



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